A medical transport van became trapped by floodwaters at a Scottsdale intersection.
The ladder from a Scottsdale fire truck was used to get close the van.
A depth gauge shows the rising waters.
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -
Firefighters rescued the driver of a medical transport service van and passenger in a wheelchair from the swift flood waters at a Scottsdale intersection Thursday morning.
The van went around barricades intended to block motorists from the rain-swollen intersection at 77th Street and Roosevelt near Indian Bend Wash just before 5 a.m.
Firefighters used the ladder of a fire truck to reach the stranded van and brought both occupants one-by-one to safety between 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m.
Dave Folio said the driver made the decision to go around the barricade into the wash and the swift waters swept the van off the road and into a grassy retention basin, where water runs from the streets into the wash.
A series of thunderstorms had moved through the area and Indian Bend Wash was quickly filling.
Folio said the Dependable Medical Transport Services van was taking an elderly man in a wheelchair to a medical appointment when the woman driving the van went around the barricades.
Folio said there was about a foot of water in the van, but the patient was not threatened and rescuers were in contact with him.
Sgt. Mark Clark of the Scottsdale Police Department said the driver was not arrested, but might have been cited. Arizona's "stupid motorist law" places the burden of rescue costs on the person who consciously drives into a flooded roadway, especially one that includes barricades.
Scottsdale police said the area had been blocked off with traffic barriers and with signs that advised not to enter the wash when flooded. From Miller Road, there were two signs posted in the middle of the road and from 78th Street, there were also two signs posted in the road with the warning, according to police. The flood advisory amber emergency lights on the flood gage poles were flashing.
The man was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare-Osborn for evaluation, according to firefighters.
Roosevelt was closed between Hayden and Miller roads. Water was nearly 3 feet deep, according to a depth marker in the wash.
McKellips Lake is immediately to the south, and a tactical rescue team was in place in case the van dislodged and was swept further down the wash. He said divers were ready to enter the water if necessary.
Folio said the biggest concern was the van being moved by the swift water or even rolling over.
The Dependable Medical Transport Services said the driver has been with the company since March and has not had any driving complaints or violations while with the company.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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